There's Gold in them thar Networks! or Searching for Treasure in all the Wrong Places
RFC 1290

Document Type RFC - Informational (December 1991; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 1402
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                          J. Martin
Request for Comments: 1290                         Ohio State University
FYI: 10                                                    December 1991

                  There's Gold in them thar Networks!
                                   or
             Searching for Treasure in all the Wrong Places

Status of this Memo

   This RFC provides information for the Internet community. It does not
   specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   This document was presented at the 1991 ACM SIGUCCS User Services
   Conference.  It appears here in its updated form.

   There is a wealth of information on the network.  In fact, so much
   information, that you could spend your entire life browsing. This
   paper will present some of the "gold nuggets" of information and file
   repositories on the network that could be of use to end users.

   The ultimate goal is to make the route to these sources of
   information invisible to the user.  At present, this is not easy to
   do.  I will explain some of the techniques that can be used to make
   these nuggets easier to pick up so that we can all be richer.

Table of Contents

   1.0  Introduction................................................   2
   2.0  Lists and Indexes of Network Resources/Bibliographies/
        Information Available over the Network......................   2
   3.0  Libraries Available over the Network........................   6
   4.0  Anonymous FTP Sites.........................................   7
   5.0  Network Information Centers - NICs..........................   8
   6.0  Network Statistics..........................................  10
   7.0  Campus Wide Information Systems - CWIS......................  11
   8.0  Internet Bulleting Board System/Interactive
        Databases/Freenet...........................................  19
   9.0  WHOIS - E-mail white pages..................................  22
   10.0 Books.......................................................  23
   11.0 Free Periodicals/Tabloids/Magazines.........................  23
   12.0 Glossary....................................................  25
   Security Considerations..........................................  26
   Author's Address.................................................  27

Martin                                                          [Page 1]
RFC 1290                 Searching for Treasure            December 1991

1.0  Introduction

   This paper is a list of the essential things, in my view, that a
   person who is responsible for providing network information should
   have in their hands as reference material.  One of the basic problems
   of information is making it easily available to those who have need
   of the data.  Libraries have been performing a cataloging function
   for many centuries.  Information flow is now being provided at such a
   fast rate that it is difficult to keep up with it, even partially.
   Computer networks have only added to the problem by opening up even
   more information.

   Attempting to make this wealth of information available to those who
   would find it useful poses some problems.

   First, we need to know of its existence.  To that end, this paper
   provides an index into the vast realm of network information. Most of
   the documents listed here are POINTERS to the final information.

   Second, even if you know of a document's existence, you may not know
   if it is important or relevant.  Few of us are knowledgeable in more
   than a limited area.  We need to rely on others to make us aware of
   the importance of databases in a specific discipline. The librarians
   can be of great assistance here.  They are familiar with the research
   databases that individuals search in Law, Mathematics, and many
   others.

   Finally, once the existence and importance are known, the information
   needs to be indexed so that researchers can find it.  This is the
   most difficult task to accomplish.  Information available on the
   network is hardly ever static.  It is always moving, growing,
   changing, and dying.  Computers should be able to assist us in
   managing this ever-changing environment.  Right now, we have to
   catalog the information as it passes through the network.  In my
   case, I generally save it in a file somewhere, spending far too much
   time trying to retrieve it again when needed.

2.0  Lists and Indexes of Network Resources/Bibliographies/
     Information Available over the Network

   2.01  Internet Resource Guide (Document)

      An excellent guide to major resources available on the network.
      The Table of Contents includes chapters on Computational
      Resources, Library Catalogs, Archives, White Pages, Networks,
      Network Information Centers, and Miscellaneous

Martin                                                          [Page 2]
RFC 1290                 Searching for Treasure            December 1991
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